Best meal you ever had

Apparently, people like to eat.

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Matsi
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Best meal you ever had

Postby Matsi » Thu Nov 27, 2008 12:06 am UTC

Now before we start, I am not interested in your mother's cooking. While I am sure she can cook very well, I am more interested in experiences in star restaurants. So unless your mother is a chef in one of those, please don't reply with some homemade dish.

The best meal I ever had was a very simple one actually, served at http://www.dejufferenlunsingh.nl/. It was simply a steak, accompanied by a Portuguese wine, but it was the best steak i ever had and probably will ever have. Also the wine complemented it perfectly. Combine that with the rustic atmosphere and coffee with brandy after deserts, and It was pure heaven.

Now what made it even more special is that the cows used for the steaks (obviously not the one you are eating) can be seen grazing the fields just out the window. It is a tiny place in the north of the Netherlands, and that must probably be why it has only received 1 star once, and it got taken away last year sadly (i believe their quality hasn't dropped, but they don't modernize so that might explain it).

Edit: Nobody here eats at star restaurants? or did I make a dupe thread? (i searched and found nothing..) I know steak may not seem like such a special meal, but it was truly the best thing i ever ate..

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Re: Best meal you ever had

Postby TaintedDeity » Sun Nov 30, 2008 4:28 pm UTC

It could well have been the hostility towards our Mums.
We love our Mums.

The best meal I've ever eaten was not at a star restaurant, it is at a nearby pub.
A braised lamb shank with bloody loads of mint gravy, meat so soft it falls off the bone with a look.
Add to that some smooth mashed potato, the right consistency to mix with the gravy instead of going lumpy.
It was great.
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Re: Best meal you ever had

Postby PictureSarah » Sun Nov 30, 2008 7:49 pm UTC

Matsi wrote:Edit: Nobody here eats at star restaurants? or did I make a dupe thread? (i searched and found nothing..) I know steak may not seem like such a special meal, but it was truly the best thing i ever ate..


I would hazard a guess that 75-80% of us do not engage in fine dining with any kind of regularity, as there is a huge population of starving students on the xkcd fora, who, although we REALLY like food, also like being able to pay our utility bills.

However, the other night my boyfriend and I went out to a restaurant called The Elephant Walk for our one year anniversary. It was absolutely delicious. I had Catfish Tonle Sap - Catfish marinated in a light mushroom-soy, lightly caramelized and topped with a coconut-ginger sauce and sweet pepper relish, served with jasmine rice. It was so good. For dessert, we shared the Marjolaine - A Parisian classic; almond d'acquoise layered with coffee praline buttercream, chocolate chiffon cake and chantilly cream topped with ganache; served with coffee creme Anglaise. I don't know if it's *the best* meal at a restaurant I've ever had, but it's in the top 3.
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Re: Best meal you ever had

Postby Amarantha » Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:20 am UTC

My best restaurant meal would probably have been one of the ones recently enjoyed at Cumulus Inc. Possibly all of 'em. Although the same bloke's other restaurant and his brother's restaurant are also high on the list.

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Re: Best meal you ever had

Postby Bakemaster » Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:20 pm UTC

PictureSarah wrote:However, the other night my boyfriend and I went out to a restaurant called The Elephant Walk for our one year anniversary. It was absolutely delicious.

We also started with "Salade de Bleu au Poire William - A medley of greens tossed with Gorgonzola cheese, toasted walnut and balsamic vinaigrette;with pan-roasted pear and Poire William coulis," which was very tasty, if somewhat standard. Sarah's catfish entree was absolutely incredible. I tried a chicken entree (not listed on their online menu, might have been a special) that resembled a stir-fry, with an excellent spicy sauce, though the chicken was a bit overdone. The last time I ate at this restaurant I was blown away by the "Trey Tuk Peng Pah - Crispy Asian grouper filet served with a tangy broth of fresh plum tomatoes, garlic, shallot, rice vinegar and fish sauce; garnished with fried shallot and cilantro."

The best dessert I've ever had at a restaurant I remember very well. My sister and I took my mother out to Gargoyle's on the Square, the most upscale restaurant in our neighborhood, for Mother's Day. My food was a bit disappointing, but for dessert they served a Blood Orange Tart that was exquisitely presented. The red orange segments were arranged to look like the petals of a rose atop the tart. It was delicious, but what I remember most was the beautiful presentation.
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Re: Best meal you ever had

Postby Matsi » Fri Dec 05, 2008 10:39 pm UTC

TaintedDeity wrote:It could well have been the hostility towards our Mums.
We love our Mums.

Sorry, no offense meant to your mum ;)

PictureSarah wrote:I would hazard a guess that 75-80% of us do not engage in fine dining with any kind of regularity, as there is a huge population of starving students on the xkcd fora, who, although we REALLY like food, also like being able to pay our utility bills.


This saddens me a bit. I have a below average income for my country atm, but i try to treat myself to some star quality food and service at least twice a year. Also, back when i was younger my parents used to take me to high quality restaurants, so i guess that's where i got this fetish from.

I just thought of the best dessert I've ever had. It's served in a restaurant in a small town in Portugal (can't remember the name of the town) called Ze Patago. They call it "Doce de Casa" which means "Sweet (thing) of the House", and it's pretty common in Portugal. Theirs is the best I've ever had though. It consists of a layer of cake drenched in port (i think it's port, could be some other sweet alcoholic drink), covered in a very sweet creamy whip made of egg whites, sugar and cream. Also lots of cinnamon and cocoa sprinkled on top.

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Re: Best meal you ever had

Postby |Erasmus| » Sat Dec 06, 2008 6:02 am UTC

Matsi wrote:Now before we start, I am not interested in your mother's cooking. While I am sure she can cook very well, I am more interested in experiences in star restaurants. So unless your mother is a chef in one of those, please don't reply with some homemade dish.


Cool... I get exemptions. She is normally a teacher, teaching hospitality and food technology, and stuff, but she has worked at a few nice restaurants. She is quite a lot of the reason I am competent at cooking myself, and we normally eat pretty well at home.

The best meal I have had at a restaurant, though, was a $50 texas steak I had at a dinner paid for by my work...

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Re: Best meal you ever had

Postby ameretrifle » Sat Dec 06, 2008 9:40 am UTC

Uh, define "star restaurant", 'cause if it means what I think it means, I don't think we even have any where I live. Of course, if we did, I probably wouldn't go. Not only do we not have the money, I'm just not especially enamoured of the concept.

I was once at one of the priciest/most prestigious restaurants in town. I was less than impressed, especially with the food. Maybe some of the other state senators' hangouts are better. I'm not especially motivated to go and find out.

...Sorry for the post that's basically "Here's why I have nothing to contribute to this discussion". :D Then again, you did ask.

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Re: Best meal you ever had

Postby dorsai » Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:46 am UTC

Mine would have to be bronzed swordfish that I had at a place called Chart House. It had crab + crab butter on top and was absolutely the best meal I've ever had. And I love me some steak. I wish I could remember more of the details, but I've only had it once, a long time ago, and haven't seen it on the menu since :?

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Re: Best meal you ever had

Postby 22/7 » Mon Dec 08, 2008 6:00 pm UTC

As odd as this might sound, the meal that I most consistently recall when thinking of very, very good food was fries and a burger at a brewery in WA. It was the best quality burger I've ever had and cooked to a perfect medium with a large mushroom cap (and mushroom sauce) and cheese (I'm suddenly forgetting what kind of cheese). The fries were also very well seasoned and were served with a coriander mayo that was just perfect. Their desserts were excellent as well.

As for "fine dining" establishments, etc., I had a steak at III Forks once that was superb, cooked perfectly and a wine that was excellently paired.
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Re: Best meal you ever had

Postby Senefen » Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:50 pm UTC

Restaurant in Paris, I have no idea what it was called or how many stars it had.
I had fish burre blanc (a kind of butter sauce). It was soooo good! I never did find out what kind of fish it was XD. Couldn't understand the menu beyond Burre Blanc
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Re: Best meal you ever had

Postby Bakemaster » Thu Dec 11, 2008 1:23 pm UTC

ameretrifle wrote:Uh, define "star restaurant", 'cause if it means what I think it means, I don't think we even have any where I live.

Given that the OP appears to be European, I'd wager he's talking about a particular restaurant guide which is far less well-known over here in the States. Different people/publications give out star ratings that mean different things all over the place. Here in New England I'm more used to the Zagat Survey, which doesn't use the same system at all.
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Re: Best meal you ever had

Postby Ended » Thu Dec 11, 2008 1:35 pm UTC

I'm an impoverished student now so don't get much chance for fine dining. But for my birthday a few years ago, my parents took me to the Savoy Grill in London, where we had the eight-course tasting menu. The course which stands out in my mind was scallops with pea sauce, which was such a simple dish but cooked and presented absolutely perfectly.
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Re: Best meal you ever had

Postby AWA » Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:10 pm UTC

Admittedly, I don't have the widest selection to choose from, but possibly my favorite meal is one I had at a local restaurant, where I ordered baby back ribs, crab bisque, and chocolate mousse for dessert. The bisque was absolutely delicious, the ribs fell of the bone as I picked them up, and the mousse was heavenly. Luckily, I have the opportunity to go there every year on my birthday (I'm not quite college-age yet).
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Re: Best meal you ever had

Postby Nebuduck » Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:49 pm UTC

For my 18th I was taken to The Fat Duck. 3 Michelin stars (one of only three such restaurants in the UK) and ranked second best restaurant in the world by Restaurant magazine.

It was... stunning. It wasn't a meal, it was more of a complete act. The whole thing was about making you experience things using all your senses and making you think and analyse what you were experiencing in a way that's more like reading a book or watching a play than eating a meal. It was a completely stunning experience and well worth whatever it cost.

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Re: Best meal you ever had

Postby julius » Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:03 pm UTC

A couple of years ago my parents took me to Wielandshöhe restaurant in Stuttgart (http://www.wielandshoehe.de/) on my birthday. I'm a bit of a fan of the guy that runs it, as is my mum. We quite like his views on food: good, local basic ingredients, relatively simple but interesting dishes - he's surprisingly unpretentious for a celebrity chef; I don't really watch cooking shows but I've got a couple of books by him and he's very sensible and down to earth. Oh, and he's fat. Never trust a skinny chef!
IIRC he refuses to serve fashionable mineral waters like Evian and Volvic, offering only local bottled waters (it'd be better if he didn't offer any, of course). The restaurant has a Michelin star, and he's been denied the second one because of the requirement to serve Foie Gras - which he refuses to do for animal welfare reasons.

When we went there, the main dish I chose wasn't actually that awesome - a bit dull to be honest - but the overall experience is what makes it, really. Professional, classy, but not pretentious service and setting, and quite a lot of rather exciting little bites in between courses.

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Re: Best meal you ever had

Postby cycoden » Sun Jan 25, 2009 7:06 am UTC

In order:
1. Tetsuya's: My cousin had graduated as a chef, and I happened to be in his city at the time, and we went there to celebrate. A 12 course degustation menu of exquisite experimental cuisine mostly with japanese influences. Including basil icecream served in chilled corn soup, as well as sushi. In 2007, voted the fifth best restaurant in the world.

2. Marque IV: A restaurant in Hobart for a mates wedding. Best steak ever.

3. Tapas at a random city eatery in Barcelona. Wasn't even a restaurant.

Food photos from Tetsuya's: http://picasaweb.google.com/cycoden/Tet ... directlink
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Re: Best meal you ever had

Postby CVSoul » Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:23 am UTC

The best meal I ever had cost me $8.
I was visiting a friend at the University of Washington campus, and we decided to have lunch on a lengthy strip of restaurants known as "The Ave" (although I'm fairly certain it was a Way, not an Avenue.) There we found a (literally) hole-in-the-wall restaurant called Thai Tom. It's roughly the size of my old office's bathroom, and has a staff consisting of a chef, an assistant, and a waiter. The chef was at the center of the restaurant, with all the diners at a bar around him. That man was a machine. He never stopped moving, seemingly even to think about what he was doing. He was lightning fast, cooking three or four meals at once over a raging fire.
It was an amazing experience, and the pad thai I had there was better than anything I've ever eaten, even at that one 5-star restaurant in Breckenridge.
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Re: Best meal you ever had

Postby Nath » Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:48 am UTC

Thai Tom is an excellent example of using the powers of suggestion and anticipation to make people think the food is better than it is. Hey, long lines, and the food is cooked in front of you, like it's street food! Must be delicious, right?

Well, it's not bad, but it's pretty much Ave-standard pad Thai. There are three or four places in the area that serve the same thing, similar quality, with less of a wait. Hell, I think one of them is owned by the same people. And if you get to see the kitchens, you'll see them all operating in that same hyper-efficient mode. The folks who run Thai Tom are remarkably skilled -- but more so at marketing than cooking.

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Re: Best meal you ever had

Postby Decker » Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:40 pm UTC

The best meal I ever had was at a Restaurant called Arigato. It was one of those grill show things where they cook the food in front of you, make an onion volcano, and do all kinds of tricks

I had a fillet minion dish there that was absolutely fantastic. The fried rice and the vegetables were perfect too.
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Re: Best meal you ever had

Postby ams » Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:53 pm UTC

The best meal I've ever had was at a restaurant known as Harry's Uptown, or simply Harry's, in Manhattan, Kansas. It was a sort of celebratory dinner because I had found a job after graduation.

Between a steak dinner, two or three drinks, and dessert, I spent $70 plus tip. I didn't feel I was ripped off for even a second. The steak was prepared perfectly to my tastes, the garlic potatoes were delicious, and I couldn't get enough of the steamed asparagus, which I usually dislike. For drinks I had manhattans, and they were the best I've ever had. They went down like water, but, boy, they got me fuzzy in a hurry. For dessert, I was feeling adventurous. If I remember right, it was a custard in hot blackberry soup. It was tasty, and it was something new.

The service was excellent, as was the atmosphere. Harry's is in old downtown Manhattan (remember, Kansas), in the historic Wareham Theater. It's the only real fine dining establishment in Manhattan, and it is where all of the speakers in the Landon Lecture* series at the university get taken for dinner.

*The Landon Lecture series is a public affairs series, named for former Kansas governor and presidential candidate Alf Landon, the first speaker. Other guests have included every U.S. president from Richard Nixon to George W. Bush, heads of state of several other nations, and many prominent journalists.

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Re: Best meal you ever had

Postby Bakemaster » Mon Feb 09, 2009 4:38 pm UTC

It sounds like a place not to be missed if I am ever traveling through Kansas.
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Re: Best meal you ever had

Postby bigglesworth » Mon Feb 09, 2009 4:40 pm UTC

I wonder if it's the same people as Harry's Bar in Venice.
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Re: Best meal you ever had

Postby semicharmed » Tue Feb 10, 2009 1:14 am UTC

I don't think I've ever eaten somewhere with "stars" but I grew up right outside of NYC and now live in New Orleans.
And best meal depends entirely on circumstance... freshman year, we had an entire week off for Mardi Gras and everything on campus shut down. And on Mardi Gras day, we decided to walk down to the Quarter after Rex & Zulu. Bad choice, in retrospect, but we ate lunch at Clover's (little grill down on Bourbon, if any of y'all have seen Benjamin Button, it's where they got hamburgers...). And before we ate, we were waiting in the sun for a good 2 hour, in the packed Quarter, and we had gotten up super-early that day to go to the parades. And it was (some of)the best food I've ever had. Bacon cheeseburger, fries, a milkshake. And I think all of us actually moaned when we all took our first bites. It was that good.
And then last winter, we went to Holland, and we went out for Thai one night in Eindhoven (where we were staying) and that was also one of the best meals ever.
So I don't think I could pick out a single best meal ever, as I have a ton of food stories. I don't think I'll ever actually have one meal that could be an absolute, lifetime favorite, no matter the chef or the restaurant.

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Re: Best meal you ever had

Postby cypherspace » Wed Feb 11, 2009 11:58 am UTC

I was trying to think of the best I've ever had, and thinking that really, the best meal I ever had was at home.

Except it wasn't! One of my best ever meals at home was venison, but I remembered that it was inspired by my meal in the restaurant of the Radisson SAS Hotel in Västerås, Sweden. I had reindeer with cloudberry sauce, purée of roast vegetables and a potato rosti. And it was absolutely incredible.
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Re: Best meal you ever had

Postby Turambar » Wed Feb 11, 2009 6:59 pm UTC

Best meal I ever had was when my friend and I were at the beach for a week, and one day we walked into town to get some food at a restaurant. We walked three miles along train tracks lined with ripe blackberries (of which we partook mightily), and then we finally got to town and went to a sweet little burger place and I had a perfectly cooked burger with pineapples and spicy sauce on it. Months later the entire town was halfway destroyed in a storm (and the weird bit is that this was the Oregon coast, not the Gulf coast or something.)
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Re: Best meal you ever had

Postby JBJ » Sat Feb 14, 2009 12:23 am UTC

Roy's. Never had a bad meal there and always impeccable service. You know it's a good restaurant when they don't put salt and pepper on the tables.
No matter the main course, always finish off with the chocolate souffle. First time I had it, I burned my tongue but I didn't care. If it weren't socially unacceptable, I would have licked the plate. One time, I had a few drinks, vojitos (vodka mojitos, sooo tasty), and had a nice buzz going. As soon as that chocolaty goodness hit my tongue, I was immediately sober. It can be a little pricey but they have a prix fixe menu for around $35 for appetizer, main course, and dessert.

Edit - ate there again the other night. Had the Lakanilau roll for appetizer. Unbelievably tasty.
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Re: Best meal you ever had

Postby niko7865 » Sat Feb 14, 2009 7:29 am UTC

I don't remember the name, but it was somewhere around Disney World area. I had a 28oz lobster that cost me $25. It was amazing, just this huge pile of buttery meat. It took me 2 days to eat it, and it was just as good after being refrigerated and eaten cold in the morning.
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Re: Best meal you ever had

Postby Meowgan » Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:40 pm UTC

Churrasco. Get yourself to a churrascaria and fast.

Brazilian barbequed all you can eat meats. And all cooked really, really well with lots of flavour. Even better, they fill your plate for you. So, so good.

My Dad's cooking as far better than my Mum's.
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Re: Best meal you ever had

Postby Bakemaster » Sun Feb 15, 2009 8:29 pm UTC

I have been to two churrascarias. The first was all-you-can-eat for a flat rate, very good, and table-service (people would come around to your table with a long spear of meats and cut pieces for you). The second was priced by weight, arguably better-tasting, but buffet-style with a window into the kitchen where you could walk up and get meat cut for you. Neither was really "fine dining", but I would highly recommend either as an experience and a tasty meal.
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Re: Best meal you ever had

Postby invisibl » Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:33 am UTC

Steak with Cafe de Paris Butter. mmmm. Wee French Bisto style cafe in Wellington NZ

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Re: Best meal you ever had

Postby Poiesis » Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:29 am UTC

I'm not sure offhand what the tastiest or best presented meal I've ever had was, but this story is what immediately springs to mind:

I was living with a dear friend of mine for a few weeks at her campus apartment a couple years ago, and we were out exploring the town one day and became hungry. We had only a few dollars between us, but we ducked into a nearby sushi restaurant (we both adore sushi) to see what we could afford. We ordered 2 bowls of soup, which we split, and as we were finishing the waiter asked us if we'd like anything else, and we responded no, thanks, but this is all we could afford today. At which point the waiter brightened up even more (he was already very friendly) and said "oh, no problem! no problem! wait right here!" and ran off to the kitchen, returning with an epic-sized plate of sashimi, and plenty of wasabi, ginger and soy sauce, all free of charge. My friend and I exchanged an "is this really happening?" look and proceeded to consume intoxicating quantities of sushi. We felt morally obligated to eat all of it, and did so happily. Definitely one of the most amazing meals I've ever had, and I still get nostalgic whenever I eat sushi.
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Re: Best meal you ever had

Postby pancake bunny » Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:30 am UTC

i have to say that the best meal I've ever had was when ever i go camping with my boy scout troops. we make the best meals out of nothing. think pancakes with hash browns, eggs ,and bacon.
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Re: Best meal you ever had

Postby bigglesworth » Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:42 am UTC

Cervantes did say that hunger is the best sauce.
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Re: Best meal you ever had

Postby Ulath » Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:14 pm UTC

The Tasting menu at Gordon Ramseys @ Claridges in London.

7 courses, All spectacular but particually of note was the lobster + crayfish ravioli.

Mmmm but £££

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Re: Best meal you ever had

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:28 am UTC

pancake bunny wrote:i have to say that the best meal I've ever had was when ever i go camping with my boy scout troops. we make the best meals out of nothing. think pancakes with hash browns, eggs ,and bacon.

That's not really fair. Anything made on a camping trip tastes wonderful. Fried dirt with a cup of mud would be delicious on the third day of camping.
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Re: Best meal you ever had

Postby idlehandsrome18 » Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:49 pm UTC

Poiesis wrote:I was living with a dear friend of mine for a few weeks at her campus apartment a couple years ago, and we were out exploring the town one day and became hungry. We had only a few dollars between us, but we ducked into a nearby sushi restaurant (we both adore sushi) to see what we could afford. We ordered 2 bowls of soup, which we split, and as we were finishing the waiter asked us if we'd like anything else, and we responded no, thanks, but this is all we could afford today. At which point the waiter brightened up even more (he was already very friendly) and said "oh, no problem! no problem! wait right here!" and ran off to the kitchen, returning with an epic-sized plate of sashimi, and plenty of wasabi, ginger and soy sauce, all free of charge. My friend and I exchanged an "is this really happening?" look and proceeded to consume intoxicating quantities of sushi. We felt morally obligated to eat all of it, and did so happily. Definitely one of the most amazing meals I've ever had, and I still get nostalgic whenever I eat sushi.


Nice, free food always tastes better. And sushi is amazing in all of its forms. I would say the best meal I ever had was at an all-you-can-eat sushi bar in LA. My friends and I were at the bar for a good two hours ordering sushi from the chef there, who was the coolest guy ever. He kept suggesting all kinds of strange sushi to try out like Tako (octopus), Ika (squid), Masago and Ikura (fish eggs), and Unagi (eel). Up until then I really hadn't had any sushi like that. My favorite was the eel though, so delicious.
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Re: Best meal you ever had

Postby el_loco_avs » Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:19 pm UTC

Best dining experience was a new year's eve at Vong (has a michelin star iirc) in New York. Fusion food with some ridiculously yummy red wine. (owner Jean George is apparantly famous... *shrug*)


Food I enjoyed most: Jacques Imo's in NY. Second restaurant of a New Orleans based cajun food restaurant. I guess the food isn't that extravagant but i love strong and spicy foods. Perfect fried chicken. Beans. etc. Free round of drinks due to it being my birthday. Another free round cause the waiter felt like it. Great night that.
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Re: Best meal you ever had

Postby superglucose » Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:51 pm UTC

My grandmother is actually good enough to open a restaurant, so I'm going to add her in here.

She makes a roast with... a mushroom wine reduction sauce... alongside a traditional Belgian cheese cauliflower... and I would kill to have it again. And you can poo-poo the whole "it's your grandmother" if you want, but the reason she didn't open a restaurant is because she didn't want to work that hard at cooking.
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Re: Best meal you ever had

Postby el_loco_avs » Thu Mar 05, 2009 4:04 pm UTC

superglucose wrote:My grandmother is actually good enough to open a restaurant, so I'm going to add her in here.

She makes a roast with... a mushroom wine reduction sauce... alongside a traditional Belgian cheese cauliflower... and I would kill to have it again. And you can poo-poo the whole "it's your grandmother" if you want, but the reason she didn't open a restaurant is because she didn't want to work that hard at cooking.



Well if that counts than I'd add my mum cause she's always thinking of maybe opening a food place :P
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